The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have consistently been two of the more successful teams in the Eastern Conference over the years, which has generated some form of rivalry between the two sides.
When speaking to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks during a February 28 interview, Miami’s star center Bam Adebayo discussed how that rivalry affects his relationship with close friend Jayson Tatum.
“I don’t like the Boston Celtics, nah. It’s mainly because, obviously, JT, I’ve known JT since we were 12. Obviously, when we play each other, it’s a dog fight. I want to be like ‘dawg, I have more wins than you.’ That’s how I am, it’s a personal battle right there…I don’t talk to Jayson before games. But after games, it’s more so love. Because we’ve played the game, buzzer went off, win, lose, or draw, he’s still one of my great friends in the league,” Adebayo said.
Adebayo tasted defeat at the hands of the Celtics during the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, as the Celtics defeated the Heat in seven games to advance to the finals, where they ultimately lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Marcus Smart Claps Back at Bam Adebayo
During the same interview, Adebayo claimed that he believed he should be a back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, as he is more versatile than both Rudy Gobert and Marcus Smart – the last two winners of the award.
When speaking to ESPN during a March 1 episode of NBA Today, Smart gave his response to Adebayo’s claims, jokingly claiming the impressive big man was lying.
“Bam, come on now. Bam’s a good guy, good friend of mine. But, me and Bam both know that’s a lie. The things I was doing at that time, at my size, was different. And, last time I recall, Bam I blocked your shot as well, your dunk as well, so that should let you know everything you need to know,” Smart said.
The Celtics currently sit fourth in the NBA for defensive rating and boast numerous players who are above-average defenders. However, it’s clear that Smart is the tone-setter for Boston on the business end of the floor.
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